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Italian PM Renzi announces Rome 2024 Olympic bid

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announces that Rome will bid for 2024 Olympics
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

ROME - Italy announced Monday that Rome will be a candidate to host the 2024 Olympics, a decision that comes two years after the government scrapped plans to bid for the 2020 Games because of financial reasons.

Vinicius and Tom named 2016 Olympics mascots

Vinicius and Tom are named Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic mascots
The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO - The mascot for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has been named Vinicius, and the Paralympics mascot will go by the name of Tom.

The names honour Brazilian musicians and partners Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. They were exponents of Bossa Nova music and creators of the famous song "The Girl from Ipanema."

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy, becoming Ducks' 1st winner
Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Marcus Mariota wrote it all down, every word of his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. It was a good thing, too, because getting through it might have been tougher than sprinting away from a linebacker or tossing a touchdown pass for Oregon's understated star.

The junior quarterback became the Ducks' first Heisman winner going away Saturday night, capping a three-year climb to college football's most prestigious individual award.

NCAA president supports 4-team football playoff

NCAA President Emmert says he would back 4-team BCS football playoff
Michael Marot, The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - NCAA President Mark Emmert would support a four-team playoff in college football — as long as the field doesn't grow.

After giving his annual state of the association speech Thursday in Indianapolis, Emmert acknowledged he would back a small playoff if that's what Bowl Championship Series officials decide to adopt.

Djokovic drawn opposite of Rafa and Roger

Djokovic on opposite side of Australian Open draw to Nadal, Federer
John Pye, The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are on the same half of a Grand Slam draw for the first time since 2005, meaning defending champion and No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic won't have to play either of his biggest rivals unless he reaches the Australian Open final.

No. 23-seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will face unseeded Filippo Volandri of Italy.

Wozniacki to play Rodionova in 1st round

Caroline Wozniacki to play Rodionova in 1st round at Australian Open
The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Defending champion Kim Clijsters and losing finalist Li Na could meet in the fourth round at this year's Australian Open after being drawn in the same quarter of the draw Friday.

Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki will play Australian Anastasia Rodionova in her first-round match and is in the same half as Clijsters and Li, last year's French Open champion.

On the other half of the draw, five-time champion Serena Williams is in the same section of No. 3 Vera Zvonereva and former Grand Slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova.

Djokovic plays Lorenzi, Nadal a qualifer

Djokovic plays Lorenzi in 1st round, could meet Murray in Australian Open semis
The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Defending champion Novak Djokovic could meet Andy Murray, the man he beat in last year's Australian Open final, in the semifinals and Roger Federer could play Rafael Nadal at the same stage after the draw was held Friday at Melbourne Park.

Top-seeded Djokovic will play Paolo Lorenzi of Italy in the first round and No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal has drawn a qualifier.

NBA Roundup: Bryant leads Lakers over Suns

NBA Roundup: Kobe Bryant scores 48 points, Lakers beat Suns 99-83
The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Kobe Bryant scored 48 points — his fifth straight game with 25 or more — and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 99-83 Tuesday night to win their seventh straight at home and third in a row overall.

Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer, topped the 40-point mark for the first time this season, the first in the league to do so. He was 18 of 31 from the floor and made 12 of 13 free throws. Pau Gasol added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Canadian freestyle skier Burke in coma

Top Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke injured on superpipe, in coma
The Canadian Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was in a coma after suffering a serious injury while training on a superpipe Tuesday.

Burke, a halfpipe pioneer who lobbied tirelessly to get her sport included in the Winter Olympics, was airlifted from Park City, Utah to a Salt Lake City hospital after crashing at the end of a training run.

Canadian freestyle skier Burke in coma

Top Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke injured on superpipe, in coma
The Canadian Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was in a coma after suffering a serious injury while training on a superpipe Tuesday.

Burke, a halfpipe pioneer who lobbied tirelessly to get her sport included in the Winter Olympics, was airlifted from Park City, Utah to a Salt Lake City hospital after crashing at the end of a training run.

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